Dixie Abernathy, Ed.D.

Dixie Abernathy

Assistant Professor, Cato School of Education


Dr. Dixie Abernathy is a 30-year veteran educator with a variety of experiences and expertise. She has served as a classroom teacher, an assistant principal at both the elementary and secondary levels, a principal at both the elementary and secondary levels, and as an assistant superintendent of elementary and secondary schools for the Gaston County School System, the ninth largest school system in the state.

As an assistant superintendent, Dr. Abernathy has supervised, cumulatively, more than 100 principals and has led the coaching, mentoring, and evaluation of more than 50 principals each school year.

Dr. Abernathy also led the interview and hiring processes for assistant principals and principals for the Gaston County Schools. 

Prior to joining the faculty at the Cato School of Education, Dr. Abernathy taught in an adjunct capacity for Queens University of Charlotte as well as at Belmont Abbey College, University of Phoenix, Walden University and Gardner Webb University. She has taught numerous courses, such as Teaching Methods, Foundations of American Education, Curriculum Development and Implementation, Leading in Human Resources and Finance, Improving Instruction Using Data, Reform and Change Processes, and Educational Psychology, and has taught at the bachelor, master and doctorate level. She has supervised numerous administrative interns and student teachers during the past six years and has served on more than 20 dissertation committees as part of her work with institutions of higher education.

In her current role in the Cato School of Education, Dr. Abernathy teaches courses in the undergraduate Bachelor of Arts in Education as well as the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership programs. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, relaxing in the mountains, participating in sprint triathlons and shorter distance races, and long walks with her dogs.


Ed.D., Educational Leadership, East Carolina University
M.Ed., Educational Administration, Winthrop University
B.A., Education, Wake Forest University

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